contemporary embroidery

bring me the fripperies


Liz asked to see more of my handwork.  Am currently carrying this small piece (spring nest) roundabout our home looking for a place that feels like a good fit for short term display.  The layer upon layer of glittering and shiny beads and glistening embroidery threads are a conscious homage to my inner Crow spirit.


Have at times hung this as a backdrop for a seasonal/spring altar.  But right now I want it to be in my ongoing line of vision while I contemplate how much I want to de-construct this type of layered story-telling so it's more in line with my shifted sensibilities and things we might all create in a collective thrall of expressive call and response with our shifting species-level consciousness.


It's very true that pretty is as it does. 

Even more true:  sometimes it's just fun on rocket fuel.

this day in 2008


Was planning to post in response to a comment from Liz regarding her interest in a Beautiful Memory Jar project she could do with her grandchildren.  Like, tomorrow or the next day.  But then while editing pics for a post on my main blog I noticed this lovely image beaming up from the bottom of my screen.   Eleven years ago I was taking a wonderful embroidery class given by Sharon Boggon called Developing a Personal Library of Stitches.   The center rectangle is what I produced for one of the lessons.  We were supposed to keep things very small - 3 x 5.  But I found after the first two weeks that I just couldn't Work Small.  The compression of space makes my dyslexia go haywire.  Takes so long to untangle from a design perspective that it's far more pleasantly challenging to just work on a scale where it's easier for me to keep things looking like I know it's "supposed" to look.

I marvel at how much more stitching time I had when this was pretty much the only visually-based creative outlet I consistently allowed myself beyond photography.

live and learn, eh?  Am definitely on the Beautiful Moments trail though...

and then there's stitching

AsaboveblgThis very much unfinished fabric art journal project's been in the mix for about a dozen years.  It lives in a largish tote box full of sewing/fiber arts supplies I keep close to hand for spontaneous stitching sessions.  It's a comprehensive cloth and thread based cache I'd feel myself lucky to salvage in a state of emergency.  That said, I'm thinking it might be time to drop that ride or die criteria as the underlying structure of what I post here. 

I first started this project in the mid-aughts.  Back then I had both my former/undamaged brain and a lot more fluidity in my fingers' joints and tendons.   In part this means I didn't consider ease of stitching in my cloth choices nearly as much as I'm obliged to consider it now.  All the same I'd like to think, if I dedicate myself, I can have this project fully complete by this same time next year.  At the moment every single page is in progress.  So is my tenuous understanding of how it will ultimately be sewn together.  My old brain had a plan.  I found mention of that in a fiber arts idea log book but not a word about the plan itself. InsidecoverThe inside cover features a yukata sample that was stitched to the back of the third-hand army jacket I wore in the woods for a dozen or more years.  This spread offers tribute to the paper bookmaking detail of a gauze/parchment overlay that flips to reveal the book's title page.  Eventually every page will house an embroidered word or two.  Each detail of pattern, specific cloths and threads, and how they came to be assembled as a final project holds layers of personal meaning for me.  This is something I make with my future in mind:  at some point maybe I will no longer remember Enough but I might still remember some things I can look at and touch such as this soft and extremely tactile vessel of meaning and memory.  Now that I know what it feels like to be missing parts of established mind patterns I also know what it's like to encounter ballast through self-recognition at unlikely moments.  Thus I've returned to this project with a sense it holds personal meaning and value that merits showing up to work on it in a regular [timeframe] way. Auspiciousdreamsoverlay

MorninggloryprintblogI made the bold morning glory leaf print years ago at my former home.  Wisteria has been a major healing and illumination touchstone/ally for me since early childhood.  The page on the right is a very well worn fragment of a homemade pillowcase.  The equally worn batik strip running across comes from a comforter that was originally a wedding gift.  In the later 90's I recovered it by hand, one handsewn piece at a time. Each page is constructed from personally meaningful cloth that has multiple layers of significance for me. DonkeysspreadblgThis spread contains another paper-based bookmaking feature.  The "page" on the right is actually a tip-in.  Its substrate used to be one of my all time favorite gardening shirts.  This bit contains the shirt's buttonhole placket to hold the tip-in securely in place. CenterfoldThe book's centerfold is already fully complete in my head.  Had been saving it for the very last thing to be finished before binding but now am thinking I'll give myself the treat of working on it the next time I pick up a needle. Backcoverblg The inside back cover is one part of the book that's close to completion. FajbackcoverblgThe back cover is not.